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More Support for Zinc-antiatherogenic Link

Researchers investigating the link between zinc supplementation and reduced atherosclerosis in rabbit models have used a different method// to lend support to their hypothesis that the effect may be due to a reduction in iron-catalyzed free radical reactions.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore reported in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine last year that supplementation of a high cholesterol diet with zinc reduced the formation of lesions in the arteries of rabbits, but said that the effects were not linked to changes in levels.

Rather, the decrease in atherosclerotic lesions was linked to a decrease in iron concentrations in the tissue, which has previously been reported to catalytically promote damaging free-radical reactions and the development of atherosclerosis.

The findings of their latest research in this area are reported in the same journal this month. Atherosclerosis, whereby fatty substances such as cholesterol and calcium form plaque on the inner lining of an artery, is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. If they can be translated to humans they could contribute to understanding of nutritional measures to preserve heart health.

The new study involved two groups of New Zealand white rabbits that were both fed a high cholesterol diet over an eight-week period. One of the groups also received zinc supplements at levels of 1g per kg of body weight. A control group was fed a normal diet.

The aim of the researchers, led by Barry Halliwell from the National University of Singapore, was to examine the role of zinc on lipid peroxidation in relation to atherosclerosis. They used isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques to measure biomarkers of oxidative lipid damage in atherosclerotic rabbit aorta.

In the past the research team used F(2)-isoprostane measurement. But since analysis of different biomarkers often requires different
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